Chat with Ted Miller
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com's Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller will stop by to talk some college football.
Miller has been covering college football since 1997, starting with Auburn and then heading West to Washington and the Pac-10. His columns for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer won first place in 2007 APSE Best Writing contest. The Atlanta native and University of Richmond graduate presently lives with his wife in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Send your questions now and join Miller Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET!
Ted Miller (3:30 PM)
Top o' the afternoon to ya... You can almost smell the season, eh?Let's chat!
Hey Ted Miller... First of all I am your great fan and I personally think you are "the best"(not one of the best) blogger/reporter..but I was surprised when I saw PAC 10 preview video this morning you said the Arizona state, Stanford , and Ucla will compete for the 4th position. So what I understand from your saying is Oregon state will end up 6th or 7th in conference? Yea I am confused about the way you quote. My question is don't we have to consider the bowl history( 5 straight bowl wins) and coaches talent before we rank them? I would really appreciate if you can answer my question and tell me where exactly Beavers stand by the end of this year?
Ted Miller (3:32 PM)
Sam... I'm a writer, not a great TV guy. As if I have to tell anyone that.I have Oregon State fourth. I bumbled through that TV bit and thought the same watching it myself... I guess I was thinking, as I've posted before, is there's a 1-2-3-4 consensus... I was looking at the muddle at 5-6-7.Hope that helps
Russ (Seattle, WA)
How badly is the Pac-10's round robin schedule hurting it's perception in college football and it's chances to put more teams in money making bowl games? I'm proud to say the Pac-10 is the only one doing it right, but it appears no one outside the conference cares. Look at the respect Florida gets with a schedule that includes CSU, Troy, FIU, AND 8 HOME games.
Ted Miller (3:35 PM)
I think round-robin scheduling is a great idea on paper but it hurts the conference because it guarantees five more losses every season. If the Pac-10 played patsies with that extra game, it would add nine or 10 wins annually.That would mean: 1. more bowl teams; 2. better strength of schedule ratings; 3. a better shot at two BCS teams.
scott (dallas, tx)
where does Mitch Mustain fall into the mix at QB for SC? Do you think he regrets leaving Arkansas?
Ted Miller (3:36 PM)
He's No. 3... and mostly forgotten.Not sure if he regrets leaving Arkansas, but I'm guessing he could have found better fortunes at just about any school other than USC.
Stegosaurus (Jurassic Park)
Can my friend Javidsaurus Best win the Heisman this year? Or will the East coast media crush his dream with their unnatural love of the 3 QBs?
Ted Miller (3:37 PM)
He's a longshot... not because of East Coast bias but because those three QBs have earned their pub...But if best gets close to 2,000 yards rushing and the Bears shine, I think he's got a shot to get invited to NY.
Alex (Scottsdale, AZ)
Do you think Danny Sullivan is potentially too weak of a QB to redshirt either Brock Osweiler or Samson Szakacsy to let them get an extra year of eligibility? There have been some worrying statistics coming out of the spring practices with Sullivan and some people seem to indicate we might need to play both of our backups this year - especially when you bring in Szakacsy's current elbow issues into the picture. How much playing time do you think our current backups will end up with?
Ted Miller (3:40 PM)
You won't know what you're going to get with Sullivan until the lights go on. That said, Erickson has consistently praise how Sullivan has matured and how he has played... Playing between the hedges, though, that's no jokeIf sullivan falters, it could be a long season because Szakacsy is hurting and Osweiler is a true freshman and the OL is a question...
Ted Miller (3:41 PM)
wow thse question move fast...
Ted, a Tennessee fan here with two questions about UCLA. How well does UCLA match up agianst Tennessee this year, and can they handle the trip to Neyland better than the Vols trip to Pasadena?
Ted Miller (3:43 PM)
Sounds like the Vols have some issues at receiver and UCLA is good on defense, so I'm guessing it will be a fairly low scoring game...The Bruins will be starting a redshirt freshman quarterback in Neyland... yikes... I know more than a few Cal players admitted to me that they were blown away by the atmosphere... it will be interesting to see if UCLA reacts better...
Andrew (San Antonio, TX)
How come you name Lyle Moevao as the starter for OSU in your Pac-10 QB article and not Sean Canfield? When writing the Pac-10 blog, how would you pronounce Tonu Tuimalealiifano?
Ted Miller (3:44 PM)
I did that? If so, I did some bad typing... Moevao is still coming back from a shoulder injury... canfield is the guy.
Ted, How do you like Washington's chances against LSU??
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I don't... the Huskies just need to fight all four quarters and show more spine than they did at times last year... I will say, I don't think it will be a walk-over... If LSU wins 40-0, I'd be surprised.
How do you feel Stanford will improve this year and who's going to upset USC?
Ted Miller (3:46 PM)
I think Stanford wins 6 or 7 games.I think it's going to be hard for USC to win at Oregon AND Cal.
Interceptoraptor (VLSB dino museum, UC Berkeley, CA)
How does Cal's secondary stack up against the top secondaries in the nation? Does Cal have a top-5 secondary?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
Yes... USC and Cal are both among the elite secondaries...
If Ayers and Jones step it up for UCLA this year how good will that defense be?
Ted Miller (3:47 PM)
If UCLA stays healthy -- it doesn't seem like the front-seven is very deep -- it should have a top-25 defense...
Jason (Portland, OR)
What is Masoli's odds of being invited to New York, given Oregon Finishes with one loss. Can he do what Dixon did and go from being a nobody to Heisman talk?
Ted Miller (3:49 PM)
Look at Masoli's numbers in the final three games... I know I'm a broken record on that but really, really impressive... I think he'll run less and pass better this year... and I think he's got a good supporting cast...If Oregon is a top-10 team, I think he'll join the Heisman conversation, though I'd still rank him behind Best in terms of West Coast darkhorse candidates
Hi Ted, Do you really think the Ducks have anything to worry about going to Boise State? OU's offense was rolling end of year, we have Masoli back from his cheap shot and is ready to give some payback to the Broncos!!
Ted Miller (3:50 PM)
Yes... funny things happen on the blue turf, and Boise is good.I think Oregon will win, but I wouldn't be overconfident if I were a ducks fan...
Andrew (San Antonio, TX)
With Quizz being Pac-10 offensive POY last year while missing two games, why is all the focus on Jahvid Best from Cal and not Quizz from OSU? It makes more sense to refer to them as Quizz Best and Jahvid Better.
Ted Miller (3:52 PM)
Funny... Jacquizz told me why when I was in Corvallis -- he didn't have the highlight reel runs that Jahvid did... Jacquizz is a workhorse; Jahvid is playmaker.That said: Jacquizz promised me he'd put on a show this year.. we shall see
JIMENEZ III (LOS ANGELES)
I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT MARYLAND, WHAT IS CAL'S MAIN CONCERN WHEN THE TERPS COME TO TOWN?
Ted Miller (3:54 PM)
Cal should win the game... but I thought that last year and was shocked by how flat the Bears looked...Don't expect that type of showing in Strawberry Canyon...Main concern: RB Da rel scott...
If Florida, Texas and USC were to finish the season unbeaten, do you think USC will have a realistic chance of jumping UT in the polls based on strenght of schedule? Also, if USC were to have an impressive showing against Ohio State in week two, do you think they'll make a jump in the polls?
Ted Miller (3:57 PM)
That's a tough one... winning at Ohio State will and should get the Trojans a lot of street cred... but what USC really needs is a couple of top-15 Pac-10 teams to beat... But Texas needs the same... If Oklahoma State disappoints and the Big 12 North flops, the Longhorns might have some SOS issues with just a victory over Oklahoma on their resume...hard to call now... you longhorns should get after your school about its nonconference scheduling
Rob (New Orleans)
Come on Ted, give us that score of the Trojans and Buckeyes......and when does UCLA start to challenge USC for the top spot in LA? Thanks Ted!
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
the score?24-17UCLA is making its move... I figure by 2011 the Bruins will be talking about challenging for the conference crown...
If Cal goes to the National Championship game, should that count as a Rose Bowl appearance for Cal?
Ted Miller (3:59 PM)
yes... it's in the rose bowl, right?
Cason (San Diego)
Ted, great work on the blog... I appreciate the clairvoyance you've shown re: Arizona's prospects this year.Am I crazy for thinking Arizona has as good a secondary as Cal and is right there with USC too?Everyone knows about CB Devin Ross and should know about FS Cam Nelson, but I'd submit that the other two starters are gonna be known commodities real quick too. The other starter at CB, Trevin Wade, had 4 INTs after only playing ~50 snaps in mop up time last year. At SS, Robert Golden has shown himself to be a freak who is flat out mashing on defense. What are your thoughts on AZ's DBs? TIA
Ted Miller (4:02 PM)
Cason! Good dude... Go chargers...You're right.. here I talk about folks underrating Arizona and I do just that... I watched the cats secondary just last week... good depth, good athleticism... Nelson and Ross are outstanding anchors... Wade is a playmaker and Golden looks ready to break out.In fact, the whole defense is solid: Should be another top-25 unit.
Think AZ will try 2 QBs against the Chippewas?
Ted Miller (4:03 PM)
I didn't before Saturday.... Central Michigan isn't a gimme where you can experiment... but now I think both will play.
Eric (Venice, CA)
Come on Ted,Why do all the writers have Ok. St ranked ahead of Oregon? It is not like they JUST played each other in the Holiday Bowl and the Ducks beat the Cowboys by 11 points. These are the type of things (like putting an 8-5 LSU team that lost 3 times in November in the Top 10) that mess up the polls and effect the BCS.
Ted Miller (4:06 PM)
It's 14 starters back vs. 10 for the Cowboys vs. Ducks ... but I hear you... let's see how the Cowboys handle UGA before we anoint them...Sure, LSU lost five... but LSU has earned the benefit of the doubt... I'm more bothered by Ole Miss' high ranking -- and rank schedule -- without really proving much of anything.
Do any of the teams from the major conferences go undefeated this year, and how many total wins for the State of Washington?
Ted Miller (4:07 PM)
florida will go undefeated.washington and wsu will combine for 5 wins.
Stegosaurus for Heisman (Jurassic Era)
Do you know which game (or games) you'll be attending for opening weekend?
Ted Miller (4:08 PM)
I'll be at USC and staying a few extra days in advance of the Trojans visit to Ohio State...
cary (south carolina)
Ted do you think any team in the country can bet the Florida Gators?
Ted Miller (4:09 PM)
No... Florida, much like some past USC teams, can only beat itself.And, as we've seen with USC, that can happen.I just don't see any weaknesses with Florida.
Ted, do you think Kevin Riley will finally calm down figure it out and perform to potential?
Ted Miller (4:10 PM)
Yes... Cal only needs solid but unspectacular play from Riley to have a good -- top-10 quality -- season. I think Riley will deliver. And might even be better than that.He's got plenty of help on offense, by the way.
jshufelt (Somwhere in Portland. Likely because of the Dharma Ini
Ted,Many people are anticipating that UCLA, Stanford, Washington programs to be moving up. That would imply that some other schools will need to be pushed aside. Which Pac-10 schools have hit their apex, and will move down to make room for these other schools?
Ted Miller (4:12 PM)
Not necessarily... I think teams in the middle will win 8, 7 6 games instead of 6, 5, 4 games.I think the seventh-place team will win six...And I don't think the top-4 will be shaken up... USC, Cal, Oregon, OSU.
Coug nation (the promise land )
Ted...why are you such a Coug hater? You give no respect to the Crimson and Gray!
Ted Miller (4:15 PM)
What? It's going to be tough for WSU this year... I don't see any way around it. But I think Wulff is doing some good things. I just don't see the talent...Is there someone else who's predicting something better for the COugs this year? I haven't seen them picked above 10th by anyone.
Leo Wright (Cedar City UT)
I hear there're talks of Utah and BYU getting invited into PAC-10. Is there any truth to this?
Ted Miller (4:16 PM)
Utah maybe.. though there is no REAL talk about expansion right now.Not sure BYU and the Pac-10 will ever hook up.
Ted... As a California native... now living in Tampa, FL .... I have come to notice something are SEC (schedule every cupcake) fans....Their tailgate food is not as sophisticated as ours.... and their football sucks.
Ted Miller (4:18 PM)
Come on now... first, their football is outstanding... Second, are you kidding... LSU, the Grove, Auburn, Tennessee, UGA, Florida... I've seen some OUTSTANDING spreads ...And the Grove.. and that row of bars in front of The Swamp... come on!
Does Oregon play the most exciting style of football in the nation?
Ted Miller (4:19 PM)
When Chip Kelly's offense is cranking, it is a thing of beauty... I've never seen anything like Dennis Dixon at his peak running that thing... it was impossible to figure out who had the ball..
kory (oxford, ms)
tell paul he is crazy ted.
Ted Miller (4:19 PM)
i think i did... grove treat you right Kory?
Ted, as an Arizona State fan, I am realistic and think that this year we'll be lucky to get to 8 wins, but I am very optimistic about the future after that. What positive signs should I look for this year that will indicate future success?
Ted Miller (4:20 PM)
Defense for one... better team speed... and Erickson always wins... he just does...My guess is 6 or 7 wins with lots of hope... folks I've talked to are high that Osweiler is going to be something as the QB of the future...
Ted, do you think Florida can make it past its first two games?
Ted Miller (4:21 PM)
ha! good one
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Do you think any of the curent Pac-10 coaches would leave for the NFL? Carroll, Tedford, Erickson?
Ted Miller (4:23 PM)
Not those three... if I had to guess, I'd say Harbaugh, but he was adamant with me last spring that he has no interest in the NFL.Maybe Tedford... but he's got a nice gig in Berkley, especially with the new stadium...I think ASU is Erickson's last stop.And I've become convinced that the only way Carroll leaves is if the NCAA lowers the hammer, which I don't see happening.
Who or what would be your biggest X-Factor to sort out the middle 5 teams?
Ted Miller (4:25 PM)
Quarterbacks and O-Line play... UCLA, Arizona, ASU, Stanford... they are all breaking in new Qbs... and UCLA and ASU have issues up front...answer those questions and good things happen... I know genius...
Good day Ted! The Beavers schedule this year is set up for them to build momentum, unlike years past. Furthermore, they seem to get the most out of the talent they acquire. Do you think that with senior quarterbacks and Rogers brothers that they will surprise a USC, CAL, ORE?
Ted Miller (4:28 PM)
Yeah... imagine what the Beavers could do if they don't start 2-3 for the fourth straight season... still the conference schedule doesn't fall the Beavers way -- unless they can win on the road.my guess is the trip to USC will be a tough one after what happened last year and it's not easy to win at Cal and Oregon..the schedule is a big reason for a lot of people OSU is fourth and not second or third... to me, O-line issues are as worrisome
andrew (loa angeles, CA)
Ted, thanks for all your coverage and making all of our lives better. That said, what do you make of the linebacker shuffling out in Berkeley? Is there cause for concern that the staff is still sorting out the alignment in the 3-4? I recall last season that Da'Rel Scott was no gimp, and Cal's gonna need its linebackers playing sharp for us to contain him.
Ted Miller (4:31 PM)
Scott is no gimp...First, the Bears are strong on the D-line...Second, I think it's more of finding the right combination of talent and position among the four LBs... I don't feel like LB is a big concern...I always had a feeling Holt would work himself into the mix... Kendricks is a future star in the middle and Mohamed and Young have experience...
Aside from USC - OSU, which Pac-10 non-conference games do you think are worth tuning into?
Ted Miller (4:34 PM)
Oregon at BoiseLSU at WashingtonCal at MinnesotaArizona at IowaStanford at WakeUCLA at TennASU at GeorgiaUSC at NDND at StanfordOregon vs. UtahLots of good ones...
Ted Miller (4:36 PM)
Folks... good time... got to run...